Generator,Meyer Electrical Services
Written by Walt Meyer

What to Consider Before Buying a Standby Generator – Part 1

You have decided to buy a standby generator for your home because power outages have caused inconveniences and problems in the past. The following discusses 10 considerations before buying a system right for you. Work with a reputable and experienced licensed electrician for safety and the best results.

1) Power Requirements

What will chiefly determine the generator size is the power needed when there is an outage. Will the entire home need electricity or only emergency loads? If the entire house needs power, then summer peak demands and electrical service amperage will be factors.

2) Fuel Type

The typical fuels used by standby generators are propane, natural gas, and diesel.
When selecting between a natural gas and diesel generator, the cost of either fuel can be a factor because their pricing can vary depending on generator size.
Fuel source availability should also be considered. Propane and diesel are on-premise fuel sources, which may need to be resupplied if power is lost for extended periods of time. In contrast, natural gas is supplied by the local utility.

3) Installation Team Members

Typically, a licensed electrician is needed to install a standby generator. Choose a reputable company with a solid track record of installing standby generators. There may be a generator brand that is familiar to you, but you should talk to your installation team and get a recommendation based on their experience.

4) Generator Location

Ideally, the generator’s location should allow easy access for repair and maintenance. It should also be set on a foundation higher than anticipated flood waters. In general, a standby generator should be placed near its fuel supply and transfer switch.

5) Outdoor Enclosure

Some locales regulate the noise level of standby generators, which limits the number of decibels in relation to the nearest properly line. When this is a requirement in an area, the sound level requirement will determine the generator enclosure needed.

Part 2 will cover Voltage Requirement, Transfer Switches, Accessories, Equipment Maintenance, and Warranty.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Meyer Electrical Services is an authorized Generac and KOHLER Sales &
Service Dealer serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. We provide custom standby generator installations and are trained and licensed to perform the regularly required important factory service and maintenance. Receive a free consultation today by calling (301) 941-1400.